U.S. Has Seen Chemical Weapons Activity in Syria, Pentagon Says
WASHINGTON – Trump’s president launched a new red line for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, with US officials describing the preparation of a Syrian air base for an attack on chemical weapons, while the search for Strengthen Tuesday the threat of M. Trump to discourage an attack.
But the administration has developed some of the president’s unexpected statement of 87 words last night that warned that Mr.
Assad “will pay a very high price” if toxic gases were again rejected in rebel-controlled territory, leaving lingering questions in Washington and the Middle East about Mr. Trump’s intentions in Syria.
US officials have refused to rate their level of confidence as to whether a chemical attack is imminent or whether the administration has sought diplomatic means to stop it.
Military officials were initially shocked by the White House statement Monday night, declining to discuss the options they were considering. Talks with allies about chemical intelligence weapons remained largely secret.
In previous administrations, debates on the best way to deter atrocities have been published around the world. President George W.
Bush took months to make his case – later proved flawed – the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
President Barack Obama presented a detailed explanation of his deliberations on how to respond if Assad used chemical weapons to kill 1,400 people by 2013.
This silence has added to the uncertainty as to whether a new military confrontation with Syria had only two months after Mr. Trump had fired dozens of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian base, the Al Shayrat airfield after an attack With chemical weapons that killed dozens.
The Assad government has denied the charge of preparing an attack, calling the statement of M. Trump as a provocation. And in Russia, a close ally of Syria, a lawmaker accused the United States of America. To use the Chemical Weapons Declaration to plan an attack on Syria.
As if to underline his disregard for the warning of the Trump administration, M. Assad visited a Russian airbase near Latakia in the western part of the country on Tuesday, accompanied by General Valery V. Gerasimov, chief of staff, the Russian army .
Syria’s media, who reported on the visit, distributed a video of M. Assad in the cabin of a Sukhoi Su-35 Russian stationed at the base, where Russia has carried out several of its bombing operations to support side Civil war of government in six years
In Washington on Tuesday, United States officials briefly explained what had driven the White House’s push toward deterrence. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters that active preparations for a chemical attack had been observed in Al Shayrat.
A Pentagon official said an air shelter at the base had been hit by a US Tomahawk missile in April was used for preparation.